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  1. #21
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    why don't you just look in the mirror, think about something happy or a person you really like (in a platonic way), look at your face, then try to replicate that. Smiling is NOT just curving your mouth (if you do that you'll probably just look creepy and fake). It's all about the eyes, though it sounds like you've already got that part down pat.

    And/or, see others who are doing a good job of being friendly-looking, like your boss, memorize their expression, replicate it in a mirror, pay attention to the muscles you're using.

    Alternatively (or in combination), find something to like about the strangers you're talking to, or at least try to see strangers positively instead of as a nuisance. It's hard to fake a good smile if you're talking to people you despise, although it can be done with practice.
    -end of thread-

  2. #22
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    In general no smile is better then a over enthusiastic fake smile

    Don't think am as deadpan as other INTPs although at times I can be.

    That being said I notice that I often smile and laugh apparently inappropriate times. Also I have this Butthead chuckle (a la Beevis and Butthead cartoon) that pops up often out of nowhere.

    Am pretty good at smiling at people. Friends and enemies alike with near equal enthusiasm.

    What helps is mirroring or chameleoning happy people. Especially chameleoning ESTPs helps.
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  3. #23
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I smile and I'm pretty emotive when talking with people. It's all natural, I don't consciously try to control my expressions except when I go to my neutral expression, clamp-down state. This happens when I don't want to betray my feelings in all kinds of situations. I don't know if a specific set of MBTI types are more apt to do this, but I occasionally run into people who very purposefuly use their facial expressions, almost like someone using punctuation when constructing a sentence. It doesn't look unnatural, exactly.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mipp View Post
    I have a job that requires me to work with the public. My boss has been fussing at me because he says that I 'never smile' and that I look too intimidating. I've run into this sentiment many times before -- my 'friendly' face seems neutral to most people, and my 'neutral' face seems angry.

    I tried examining my facial expressions in a mirror. I don't use my mouth much when emoting; it's my eyes that change. I arch my brows and narrow or widen my eyes to try to show emotion, but I think that people are watching my mouth, expecting to see big smiles. But when I tried smiling, it comes across as grimacing unless I'm genuinely smiling from happiness. I look very stilted trying to fake emotion.

    What's your experience, fellow INTPs? Do others find you intimidating? Do you come across as angry when you're merely neutral or quiet? Do you also find it almost impossible to fake facial expressions?
    Yep, this is true. We INTPs need to be aware of our facial expressions. I think is because we internalize anger, angst, etc. and do not verbally express it. It is just hard, in my experience, to really express anger, i.e. verbally. My wife tells me to not to make faces, and I think my students notice my facial expressions when annoyed. I was a bit confused before because I thought, "well, I did not say anything mean or harsh."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    This sounds dumb, but I actualy took a month and practiced smiling in a miror, until I learned how to emote correctly. (Yeah, there's nothing like spontaneity!) I noticed my INTP son also has this issue... any time he tries to smile on purpose, it's utterly fake and looks quite painful; the best way to get a real smile out of him is to make him laugh by saying something funny.

    Part of the issue is that my self image always WAS of this neutral, level, balanced, pensive individual and so the flatness was part of that image. But I realized people were misreading me / not perceiving the positive intent, and I wanted to be able to relate better, so I worked on developing my smiling skills.

    While the mouth IS involved in the smile, a lot of it is conveyed through the eyes. At least, that's how I feel it -- like I'm sending out warn vibes of energy through my eyes, and that drags the smile along with it. It was kind of weird until I got used to it, now it's spontaneous and hooked up to my inner world. And it is the same sort of feeling now that happens when I laugh, so it feels authentic to me.

    It's like before, the connection between face and joy was severed in order to buy time to think through things before allowing any sort of response to come out; all I did was hook the lines back up again. It does potentially mean putting yourself out there before you're ready, and not trying to control so much expression all the time.
    That is quite perceptive; most of our emotive messages are conveyed through the eyes.

  6. #26
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Do others find you intimidating?

    Rarely

    Do you come across as angry when you're merely neutral or quiet?

    No

    Do you also find it almost impossible to fake facial expressions?

    Yes. I can put on a fake smile if I need to but I sense people can see through it.
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  7. #27
    small potatoes NotOfTwo's Avatar
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    I had to work on showing my emotions in a mirror, as Jennifer mentioned. It is exaggerated at first but you do learn to moderate it. I always seem to be either Spock-like or an absolutely open book, so I am still working on this myself. I have one heck of a furrow between my brows from concentration. My brother used to tease me that I was angry, when I was working on something. I forget who suggested lifting your brows, but that does make you look less annoyed. I told an ESFJ acquaintance once that when my face went completely still she could start worrying. I wish we had emoticons for rl . I am happy now -

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